Contact precautions are things we do to keep germs from spreading to other people in the hospital.
- Germs are spread by touching skin, clothing, "body fluids" like spit or blood, and other surfaces or equipment.
- Our hands pick up germs all the time when we touch people or things.
- These germs are not usually a problem for healthy people, but they can make sick people even sicker.
Contact precautions in the hospital
An orange sign will be on your door.
- The sign helps staff and visitors know what personal protective equipment (gown, gloves, mask, etc.) they should wear.
Personal protective equipment helps:
- Protect you so you do not get germs from staff and visitors
- Protect staff and visitors so they do not get the germs you have
The most important step to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands.
Wash your hands:
- After using the bathroom
- Before eating
- Before leaving your room
Staff will wash their hands and/or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner when they care for you.
What you should do at home
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Family members should wear gloves if they will be touching sores, dressings, or other body fluids.
- Family members should wash their hands after they take off the gloves.
Cleaning your home
- You can use common household cleaning products or disinfectants to clean commonly touched surfaces.
- Throw garbage away like you usually do.
- If items have a lot of blood or other body fluids on it, tie in a plastic bag.
- Wash clothes like you usually do.
- If clothing has a lot of blood or drainage on it, then wash it in its own load.